The fourth stage of the Vuelta a Espana raced 183 kilometers (113.7 miles) from Malaga to Valdepenas de Jaen and went over two Category 2 climbs and one Category 1 climb. The hilly terrain was more suited towards the mountain climbers especially with the last brutal 1 km to the finish where part of the grade is 15 percent.
A group of four broke out at the 20 km mark and had a lead of 6 minutes at one point, but were swallowed up 12 km to the finish.
Anton attacked on the last 2 km to finish 1 second ahead of Liquigas’ Vincenzo Nibali, HTC’s Peter Velits and Katusha’s Joaquin Rodriguez. This was the first stage win by a Spanish national.
– The top 6 of today’s stage are also the top 6 of the overall category but in a different order.
– GC contenders Frank Schleck of Saxo Bank is now 8th overall with a 50 second deficit and Rabobank’s Denis Menchov is 14th, behind 1’11”.
– The official name for the Vuelta red leader jersey in Spanish is: el jersey rojo not camiseta roja as previously written but the latter will be continued to be used because it sounds better. Seriously, is “jersey” even a Spanish word?
– Mark Cavendish’s nicknames are: Cav, Manxman, Manx Missile, Manx Express… The Dish is not as widely known but as above sounds good so will be continued to be used.
Wednesday’s Stage 5 will favor the sprinters over the 198.8 km (123.5 m) course from Guadix to Lorca.
1) ANTON, Igor – Euskaltel-Euskadi: 5:00:29
2) NIBALI, Vincenzo – Liquigas: + 1″
3) VELITS, Peter – HTC-Columbia: + 1″
4) RODRIGUEZ, Joaquin – Katusha: + 1″
5) GILBERT, Philippe – Omega Pharma-Lotto: + 5″
1) GILBERT, Philippe – Omega Pharma-Lotto: 13:56:30
2) ANTON, Igor – Euskaltel-Euskadi: + 10″
3) RODRIGUEZ, Joaquin – Katusha: + 10″
4) NIBALI, Vincenzo – Liquigas: + 12″
5) VELITS, Peter – HTC-Columbia: + 16″